Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival screens 13 fresh series in the TV Beats section

The selection includes seven new Russian series, the latest work by two-time Academy Award nominee Steve James and the world premiere of Estonian thriller In the Line of Fire.

Entering its third year, the TV Beats section sees a programme introducing exciting new series to the festival’s audience and industry, backed by a rich virtual programme of panels and case studies.

Having the world premiere at Black Nights, Estonian series "In the Line of Fire" is produced for the VOD platform Huub by Elisa, the festival’s main sponsor. Inspired by real-life events, the 6-episode action-drama brings out some sore questions of our time. An Afghan War veteran, deeply disappointed in life, starts to detonate bombs in Tallinn, trying to fix the world he regards as broken, leading to a cat and mouse between him and a controversial top investigator of the security services.
The past years have seen first screenings of several new Russian series for the first time outside their country of origin that have later become international success stories. Last year’s entry from Russia screened under the name "Outbreak" and later became a top-watched series on Netflix under the name "To The Lake". Another Russian series, "Call Center", by directing duo Natasha Merkulova and Alexey Chupov („The Man Who Surprised Everyone“, „Intimate Parts“) had its world premiere at Black Nights last year.

TV Beats Forum manager Jevgeni Supin commented: “This year amongst series from different countries and of very diverse genres we are glad to focus on Russia. Over the last years, several high-end series from acclaimed directors and producers we've screened, have conquered the biggest international streamer platforms. We are glad to state that this year we will show seven freshly or partially premiered series by our good Russian partners such as 1-2-3 Production, Art Pictures and Yellow, Black and White, in addition to the strong new content from the usual suspects of series-making, such as Denmark and the US, that is represented by a two-time Academy Award-nominated director.”
This year the Russian lineup is headed by "Psycho", created by the prolific director Fedor Bondarchuk and producer (Stalingrad, Arrival, Invasion) who presents the tale of an elitist psychotherapist Oleg on the eve of his 40-s birthday. He shares an apartment with his mother and suffers from a middle-age crisis, lack of self-respect, drug addiction, irritability and increased aggression.
A year ago Oleg’s wife disappeared – she has been missing for 384 days...
After screening the first season of the hit series "An Ordinary Woman" by director-scriptwriter Nataliya Meshchaninova („Heart of the World“, „The Hope Factory“), the story of the brothel keeper Marina continues as she has a baby and gets into trouble with some mobsters.
In "Chicks", four female sex workers try to start a brand-new life in a small, patriarchal and religious Russian town – and face immediate consequences for their brave act.

Karen Oganesyan’s "The Big Game" offers survival and a psychological thriller about the participants of an extreme reality show.

"Dead Mountain – The Dyatlov Pass Incident" is a fresh take on infamous Dyatlov incident, based on the de-classified files of the real-life case that has had people spinning wild theories all over the world for more than 60 years, ranging from avalanches to secret weapon tests, to alien interference.
"Sherlock: The Russian Chronicles" is a glossy mystery and action thriller throws a Russian spin on one of the world’s most famous characters. The series follows the esteemed detective from London to the Russian Empire, on the trail of a suspected serial murderer.
Director Arkadiy Nepytalyuk’s "There will be People" depicts the turbulent periods of the beginning of the 20th century through the eyes of ordinary people: the First World War, the revolution, the emergence of Soviet regime.
Among the other European countries in the selection are the Spanish series "Tell Me Who I Am" that begins in the year 1998 when a man by the leaves a thick biography on the desk of a successful publisher. It is the story of Javier’s mother he never knew. Before fate can finally reunite mother and son, Amelia will have taken a long journey, starting in tumultuous Madrid of 1934.
"Danish Cry Wolf" is the intense and emotional story of a teenage girl who has written a vivid school essay detailing her stepfather’s violent behavior. The parents deny the accusations, but who is lying – and who is telling the truth?
Swiss "Labyrinth of Peace" offers a high-budget portrait of an industrial family dynasty that is inspired by true yet little-known events in post-WWII „neutral“ Switzerland where the dark secrets reveal the amoral choices taken by many people in places of political and financial power.
From outside of Europe, TV Beats screens the Brazilian series "Basic Unit" that is inspired by real-life cases, telling the story in of two physicians of a basic care unit in Brazil, faced by challenges created by both their work and very opposing views.
In US series "City So Real", Academy Award-nominated filmmaker Steve James’ („Hoop Dreams“) fascinating and complex portrait of contemporary Chicago delivers a deep, multifaceted look into the soul of a quintessentially American city, set against the backdrop of its history-making 2019 mayoral election, and the tumultuous 2020 summer of COVID-19 and social upheaval following the police killing of George Floyd.

Majority of the pilot episodes of the series – in some cases even more – are available for accredited professionals and press via the Black Nights platform Proscreen.poff.ee. The programme doesn’t have any physical screenings this year.

Production details

An Ordinary Woman 2 |Обычная женщина 2
Genre: drama
2020, Russia
Year of release - Season 2 in 2020
Director: Nataliya Meshchaninova
Producers: Valeriy Fedoroich, Evgeniy Nikishov, Aleksandr Plotnikov, Boris Khlebnikov, Albert Ryabyshev
Basic Unit| Unidade Básica
Genre: drama
2020, Brazil
Channel of release: Universal TV
Director: Carolina Fioratti, Caco Ciocler
Creator: Newton Cannito, Helena Petta, Ana Petta
Distributed by: Gullane
Chicks | Чики
Genre: drama
2020, Russia
Channel or release: More.tv
Director: Eduard Oganesyan
Production company: more.tv, NMG Studio
Distributed by: Art-Pictures
City So Real
Genre: drama
Director: Steven James
Cry Wolf |Ulven Kommer
Genre: Drama
2020, Denmark
Channel of release: DR1 / Denmark
Director: Carolina Fioratti, Caco Ciocler
Creator: Maja Jul Larsen, Pernille Fischer Christensen, May El-Toukhy, Samanou Sahlstrøm
Dead Mountain – The Dyatlov Pass Incident | Перевал Дятлова
Broadcaster: Premier.One and TNT Russia
Distributed by Beta Film GmbH
2020, Russia
Directed by: Valeriy Fedorovich, Stepan Gordeev, Pavel Kostomarov, Evgeniy Nikishov
In The Line Of Fire | Tulejoonel
Genre: Thriller, Drama
2020, Estonia
Broadcaster: Elisa Huub
Director: Ergo Kuld
Producers: Ergo Kuld, Martin Algus, Toomas Ili,
Elisa Estonia / Kassikuld
Labyrinth of Peace
Broadcaster: SRF
Distributed by Beta Film GmbH
2020, Switzerland
Director: Mike Schaerer
Psycho | Псих
2020, Russia
Director: Fedor Bondarchuk
Creator: Paulina Andreeva
Producer / Production Company: NMG Studia
Distributed by: Art Pictures
Sherlock: The Russian Chronicles I Шерлок в России
Genre: Mystery action thriller
Platform of release: START
2020, Russia
Director Nurbek Egen
Production companies: Sreda, START, Yellow, Black and White
Tell Me Who I Am | Dime Quién Soy
Genre: historical drama
Broadcaster: Movistar+
Distributed by Beta Film GmbH
2020, Spain
Director: José Manuel Lorenzo
The Big Game | Igra Na Vyzhivanije
2020, Russia
Director: Karen Oganesyan
Producers Valeriy Fedorovich, Evgeniy Nikishov, Nelly Yaralova
Production companies 1-2-3 Production, Kargo Films
There Will Be People
Genre and format: period drama
Year: 2020
Channel of release: STB
Director: Arkadiy Nepytalyuk
Producer / Distributor: FilLM.UA



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